Benjamin Tell Wheeler, “Bae, Bubba, Big Ben, Benny T, Uncle Benny, Big Papa Huge Time, Water Buffalo, Boo Thang, Wreeknhavic, Wheels, Bdubs, Tell,” was born to Terry and Mary Wheeler in Arcata, Ca on January 8,1984. Ben drop kicked his way through the pearly gates by the blood of Jesus Christ on February 23rd, 2022.
Ben began his childhood in Redway, California. When he was 4 he moved with his family to Lassen County where he first believed that Jesus died for his sins, gave his heart to the Lord and was baptized by his Father, in Eagle Lake. He was homeschooled, then attended Calvary Academy and finished his schooling at Lassen High school. He was a die hard Grizzly who loved football and was an All-State Linebacker. His senior year his football team went undefeated and won the CIF section championship. After high school Ben started the amazing journey of fatherhood. He was blessed with his first two boys Elijah Tell and Benjamin James. His love for carpentry led to his working construction for several outfits in Susanville, California. A few years later he welcomed another blessing, his 3rd son Brody James Flynn. The following year he was introduced to his “woot-woot” partner in life and wife, Kayla, as well as a whole new way of winning. They married and he gained a daughter, Peyton, who he loved and cherished as one of his own.
Ben began his firefighting career with Lassen Forest in 2008 as a Wildland “Forestry Technician” with Eagle Lake Crew 2, a Type 2 hand crew based out of Eagle Lake Ranger District in Susanville. Ben fulfilled his additional apprentice hours working as an engine crew member on Engine 84 in 2009, and a Helitack crewmember with Helicopter 510 out of Chester in 2010. He returned to the Eagle Lake Crew in 2011, and in 2013 he applied for and obtained the position of Assistant Fire Engine Operator for Water Tender 185. Ben took a short break from the water tender in 2015 and was detailed as a Lead Firefighter for the Lassen Hotshots.
In 2017, Ben returned to his roots after accepting an Assistant Captain position for Crew 2, which, at that time, was converted to a 10-person suppression module. Starting in 2018, the module began pursuing qualifications to be a Type 2 Wildland Fire Module (WFM) and achieved their goal by 2019. Due to some overhead changes in 2020, Ben was detailed as the Captain for the WFM and was later offered the position permanently. Ben was proud to represent the Lassen National Forest as its first WFM. His incredible work ethic assisted in building a successful program, one in which the other Lassen districts modeled after.
His commitment and dedication to the Forest Service was unparalleled. His love of family drove him to exceed, all the while recognizing the sacrifice and toll it took on all he missed out on with his children, wife and family. He enjoyed the comaraderie with his crew on the fireline who became his brothers. Ben’s hard work ethic, dedication and experience drove him to pursue all avenues of travel, new experiences, and relationships to excel in his career. There are countless people Ben had made an impression on from coast to coast and beyond.
Ben was a God fearing, gun toting, America first, Hilary for prison, unapologetically Patriotic, freedom loving, Red-Blooded Country boy. Savage to the core.
His larger than life personae, trademark stubbornness, and impenetrable “positive pyramid” will not be forgotten. In addition to these, his trademark dance moves, karaoke, and endless playlist of music will echo on through-out the lives of those that knew him best. Ben was a red meat eating, cocktail drinking, 99 shooting lover of cooking and entertaining. He was always up for winning a debate on The Flat Earth, the fake Moon landing, the rigging of the 2020 election, Covid is a plandemic, masks don’t work, vaccines kill people and 911 was an inside job. He wasn’t a conspiracy theorists, he just questioned the common narrative.
Ben was also an outdoorsman that loved to hunt and fish in non-disclosed locations. He travelled far and wide to harvest wild game to fill their freezers. His greatest passion was experiencing these adventures with his boys. In recent years he found the love of golf but was frustrated that his wife could out drive him on the fairway.
Ben is survived by his breath-takingly beautiful wife, and partner in crime Kayla Elaine Wheeler. His four children, Elijah (Yi-Ya, Ji-Ja Binks), Baby Ben (Benny-Hauna), Brody (Brods, Brode-show) and Peyton (P, P-pain, Peanutbutter Poops, Peanut, Little P). His ever praying mother, Mary Wheeler. His incredible siblings Brooke (Joe) Stokes, Windy Jankel-Kelly, Kim (Tony) Harmon, April (Steve) Harkness, Ryan (Kim) Wheeler, Ty Wheeler and Ashlee Wheeler. A whole clan of nieces and nephews, Mercedes, Kenny, Daniel, Danni, Taryn, Timmy, Mariah, Christian, Brittney, Paytn, Jake, Hunter, Hannah, Caden, Keyera, Kayla, Trynity, Colter, Landen, Montana, Allie, Trapper, Easton, Branch, Sawyer and Boone. And great-nephews and nieces, Lukas, Linkin, Rowan, Lane, Rueka and Roper. Ben poured himself into every family gathering. Each and every one of them knew that they were his “favorite.” I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! He is preceded in death by his Papa, Terry C. Wheeler.
It’s no longer our job to wake up the sheep. It’s time to wake up the other Lions.
2nd Amendment -A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Lo, there do I see my father. Lo, there do I see my mother. Do I see my mother, and my sisters, and my brothers. Lo, there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning! Lo, they do call to me. They bid me take my place among them, in the Halls of Valhalla! Where the brave may live forever!
If Ben were here today he would tell you, “Jesus Christ is the Way the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” John 14:6
“Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God.” Phil 2:10
A celebration of life will be held on April 9th, starting with a honorable procession down Main St, Susanville @ 2pm. The celebration will continue at Sentimental Journey, 465-320 Church St., Janesville, Ca. @ 3pm. No Masks Allowed BYOB.